The Nobel Prize in literature has been shelved for a year following a string of sex abuse allegations and financial crimes.
The Swedish Academy said that sex abuse allegations and other issues within its ranks had “tarnished” the body’s reputation. Because of this, the 2018 Prize will be presented in 2019, the academy announced today.
The prize presentation was shelved on the grounds that the academy is in no shape to pick a winner after a string of sex abuse allegations and financial crimes scandals. The academy said the decision “was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy”
The scandals all began when 18 women accused Jean-Claude Arnault of sexual misconduct. Jean is a major cultural figure in Sweden and is married to Katarina Frostenson, a poet who is a member of the academy.
As a result, six members of the academy, including three male members – Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund– resigned over the academy’s vote not to remove Katarina Frostenson. This left on 11 active members of the academy and the rules require that new members must be elected by 12 members.
The crisis came to a head after the decision of the permanent secretary, Sara Danius, to step down on 12 April. Her withdrawal is the first by a permanent secretary in more than 230 years and it prompted King Carl XVI Gustaf to intervene, promising reforms to enable to the academy to continue.
It will be the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award is not handed out. ??????